We present a comprehensive overview of the online gambling regulations and legislation for sports betting and gaming in Bolivia. The National Lottery of Bolivia was established in 2002, followed by the Bolivian Gambling Control Authority in 2010, to ensure proper regulation and oversight of all gambling activities in the country.
The Bolivian online gambling scene is governed by a complex legal framework, with Law No. 060 as the primary legislation. This law strictly prohibits unauthorized gambling, including online gambling, with severe penalties for offenders. However, the licensing process for online gambling operators is not clearly defined, resulting in a legal grey area. Despite limited enforcement, many foreign sites continue to accept Bolivian players. To streamline and improve the industry, the AJ presented a proposal to update the gambling regulations during the 2020 Public Accountability Hearing.
The official statement reads: “We are currently working on a new regulation that will greatly benefit companies and introduce a new sanctioning regime. Our goal is to boost the economy and strengthen the business portfolio, resulting in increased employment opportunities and wealth creation in the country.”
As part of the amendments, we are proud to introduce the online gaming vertical, which is thriving throughout the continent but is currently lacking regulation and tax regimes.
Despite minimal progress in the past, we are pleased to announce that the AJ will be increasing controls over the industry and conducting a study in April 2023 to determine the size of the online market. This move is in response to the significant rise of online gambling during the pandemic and is a crucial step towards a regulated and successful industry.
As a result of the pandemic, there has been a rise in unauthorized online gambling pages. We are taking measures to rid these illegal activities that lack transparency and fairness from our communities.
Furthermore, our board will conduct a comprehensive study in cities where gambling activities have surged the most. This study spans Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, La Paz, Tarija and Sucre, and will aim to determine the percentage of people participating in both land-based and online betting sites based on the AJ’s findings.
The responsibility of issuing licenses to gambling operators in Bolivia falls under the Bolivian Gambling Control Authority. However, obtaining an online gambling license is currently not well-defined, causing many operators catering to Bolivian players to seek licenses in other jurisdictions. Despite following regulations from these authorities, they may or may not align with Bolivian laws. As a result, there have been calls for the Bolivian government to establish a clear and transparent regulatory framework, which would aid in controlling the industry, safeguarding players, and generating tax revenues for the country.
The Bolivian government has expressed interest in establishing a more comprehensive regulatory framework for online gambling, despite the current ambiguity in their legal landscape. There are ongoing discussions about amending Law No. 060 to provide explicit guidelines for online gambling and create a well-defined licensing procedure.
If implemented, these changes could significantly benefit both the government and players by paving the way for a more regulated and controlled online gambling market in Bolivia. However, the specific timeline for these amendments remains uncertain.
Currently, Bolivia lacks a clear framework for licensing and operating online gambling providers, leading to a thriving grey market where foreign operators serve Bolivian players without significant enforcement from the government.